“The most important thing about the Macmillan Social Prescribing service was the opportunity to talk to someone who wasn’t a family member or friend.”
Meg is a breast cancer survivor from Tower Hamlets in her 40s.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer just after I moved to London and started my treatment straight away. I was very lonely and didn’t know many people. I hadn’t been working and I wasn’t going out. I felt really helpless and devastated during what was supposed to be really exciting time, moving to a new city. After I had finished my treatment I went to see my GP about something else and mentioned that I was struggling. She referred me to the Macmillan Social Prescribing Service. When I met my Macmillan Social Prescriber I was feeling low. I didn’t know what to do every day. It was difficult to be positive, I had had a really tough two years.
When I met my Social Prescriber they were very supportive. They listened very carefully and were understanding of my feelings. They lightened my heart every time I spoke to them.
Through social prescribing, I was referred to a yoga course for people with cancer which I have been going to since then. I found that excellent – the instructor is fantastic and very helpful. I also started attending a dance and movement class for women with cancer. It was really lovely to meet other ladies who had gone through similar experiences and who were trying to stay healthy and active. As I didn’t know many people in London it was great to feel part of a group. I also took part in the Macmillan ‘HOPE’ course run by St Joseph’s Hospice which was useful in helping me structure my days as that’s something I hadn’t been very good at. I also attended a nutrition workshop at a hospital which helped me to confirm that I was eating the right foods.
The most important thing to me about the Macmillan Social Prescribing service was the opportunity to talk to someone who wasn’t a family member or friend. My Social Prescriber was very supportive and really understood my situation. They helped me notice feelings that I might have just ignored or buried. I felt reassured that I wasn’t alone and that other people felt the same things in my situation.
There’s been a gradual improvement in my mental state since I had the Macmillan Social Prescribing sessions. I feel stronger and more able to control my fears. I’m more hopeful. I wish I had contacted the service earlier. I would tell others, don’t hesitate to get in touch! I think it will benefit people who struggle to talk about their situation to their family members or struggle to have someone to confide in. The Macmillan Social Prescribing Service have a good understanding of what people with cancer go through and they have lots of good suggestions of things you can do.”